Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years


I am Chenthil Nathan, blogging at http://chenthil.blogspot.com for past thirteen years. I fancy myself as a bi-linguist.

Tamil has a rich poetic tradition dating back to 3rd Century BC. Old Tamil poetry follows strict rules laid out in TholKappiyam, the oldest extant grammar treatise in Tamil. You can read more about Tamil literary tradition here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_literature

This blog has my translations of Old Tamil Poetry. I post tweets at http://twitter.com/oldtamilpoetry and use this site as a repository.

There are many translations and attempts to translate these works in Tamil. Currently Vaidehi Herbert at http://learnsangamtamil.com/ is translating the entire works. http://twitter.com/kurunthokai is translating Kurunthokai with illustratons. Palaniappan Vairam at http://karkanirka.org blog is translating Sangam and post Sangam tamil poetry on and off.

I plan to translate the poems that catch my fancy. There is no structured effort. I use the original text from Tamil Virtual Academy website http://tamilvu.org/library/libindex.htm . Translations are based on various commentaries published across centuries.

5 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi – There is a tamil poem, that begins like this, “Sunai vaai siru neerai aidhaadhenru enni”. Basically this poem refers to the 2 deers that go to drink water in a pool, where there is not enough water left for both, one of the deers pretends to drink water, but doesn’t, so that the other deer can drink it. I forget the entire text of this poem, can you please post the entire poem if you know it.


  2. Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs.Tamil News


  3. Can I have your email id


  4. chennai on said:

    Dear Chenthil, I want to get in touch with you reg. your translations. Could you please send me your email ID to: thesrajesh@gmail.com. Thanks. Rajesh, Chennai


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